If you’ve ever stared up at the two steel monoliths on UCSF’s Mission Bay campus or felt dwarfed by the 60-foot square tower at the Gap’s headquarters, then you’ve marveled over the brilliance of artist Richard Serra. The San Francisco native is legendary for his massive sculptures, but in October, SFMOMA highlights a lesser-known side of his artistic career in the first major museum retrospective of his works on paper.
My son was a colicky baby, wailing for hours and up before dawn. To comfort him—and escape our cramped apartment—we would take long walks. Fortifying coffee in hand and baby in pouch, I’d scale Folsom Street and then spiral up to Bernal Heights, where we could find nature without leaving San Francisco. Once I saw an owl gripping a branch, looking back at us with agate eyes. We kept up the ritual after the fussy baby turned into a happier toddler, and we would walk side by side. Max was just 2 when he surveyed the view and said, “Our city.” Some people argue that SF is no place to raise a kid, but I’ve always felt differently.
If homage, like imitation, is the sincerest form of flattery, Jean-Luc Godard should welcome BAND, New York-based artist Adam Pendleton’s touring collaboration with San Francisco experimental rockers Deerhoof, which arrives Thursday evening at the city’s Museum of Modern Art.
Godard, who chronicled the Rolling Stones studio sessions that would ultimately produce the lead track of their 1968 classic Beggars Banquet in his documentary Sympathy for the Devil, used early rehearsals of that album’s biggest hit as the backdrop for a series of visual meditations on the Black Panthers, consumerism, Marxism, democracy and the revolutionary spirit of the late ’60s.
SFMOMA and YBCA Do 'Four Saints in Three Acts' (Gertrude Stein and Virgin Thomson's Experimental Opera)
SFMOMA has joined forces with YBCA to recreate Four Saints in Three Acts, Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson’s 1934 experimental opera. The original work’s nonlinear narrative follows Teresa of Avila, Ignatius of Loyola, and other saints as they muse in heaven about their mortal lives. The multimedia adaptation maintains the essence of its predecessor but gives it a modern spin with a varied cast of collaborators that include Bay Area contemporary chamber opera group Ensemble Parallèle, composer Luciano Chessa, and New York’s hyped video-performance artist Kalup Linzy.
Pop-Up Magazine isn't something you page through on the train or scroll through on your phone. Every issue of the magazine is a live performance, one night only, bringing together documentarians, writers of all kinds, photographers, and radio folks for a 90-minute show. The issue "unfolds like a magazine," with short bits first and longer pieces following. Pop-Up doesn't record the show and they don't put anything online, so if you're not there, you've missed it. Next Wednesday, March 17, Pop-Up presents the first staging of their shorter between-issue series, Sidebar, in the atrium of the SFMOMA.
Currently on exhibit until April 17 at the SFMOMA, Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera Since 1870 explores the watching me, watching you phenomenon as it has evolved since the early days of the camera. In an era when cameras and recording devices are ubiquitous, impacting norms around privacy and exclusivity, this exhibit is more relevant than ever.
Even the person who has everything won’t have this: Damien Hirst’s chopped up shark, floating in a bath of formaldehyde and viewed through a casket-like vitrine. You can yank the original out of Charles Saatchi’s living room, or buy the miniature version, by Bay Area-artist Byungjoon Shin, for a mere $89.99.
Shin’s work is among hundreds of artists’ tchotchkes, books, sculptures, media, and other creative output on sale at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Shadowshop, a pop-up art store where nothing costs over $250.
Conceptual? Yes. Intelligent? Yes. Over my head? Yes. Local artist Bill Fontana is an international phenomenon and has been a pioneer of sound art for the past 40 years. Turning what we're accustomed to with visual art on its head, it is not what we see but rather what we hear that is Fontana's body of work. He calls it sculpture, but what you're looking at in his work is only an instrument that generates the desired effect. And this time around, the SFMOMA building itself is the medium for Fontana's latest site-specific sound sculpture.
We recently wrote about a collection of film shorts exploring the history of the Bay Area's experimental cinema, called Radical Light. Riding that wave is the SFMOMA, which is showcasing a sweet new batch of shorts called Bay Area Ecstatic. Showing this Thursday at 7 pm in the Phyllis Wattis Theater, it's a look at the decades of "cine-sorcerers" who have passed through the Bay Area and conceived films full of mysticism, drug-induced states of being and frenzied sexuality.